While I was waiting to get a chest x-ray at Stanford Hospital the other day, I was sitting next to a young man, he couldn't have been older than 2o. He was wearing one of those contraptions on his left leg that screwed into his bones. He asked me "So, what are you in for?" I say "Oh, just a chest x-ray. How 'bout you?" He says in an upbeat tone "Oh, just another appointment to get this checked out, see how it's moving along." I asked him what happened. He says "I was in a head-on collision on Niles Canyon Road." Niles Canyon is a windy mountain road in the east bay. He continued to tell me that he was going the speed limit, and so was the guy who hit him. The other guy just crossed over into his lane and next thing he knew, he was in intensive care. He said he was in ICU for a month, the accident was on June 8th. I asked him how much longer he'd have the contraption on his leg. He hoped that by January or February, it'd be off. I was amazed at how easily he told his story and with no bitterness or self-pity. Just before he went in for his xray, he said "I'm just happy to be alive. The way I look at it, someone else always has it worse off than me."
He made an impression on me. And as I sit here, sick for 2 1/2 weeks and barely feeling any recovery, I try to remember his story.